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Golf club with removable components

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Title: Golf club with removable components.
Abstract: A golf club having removable components includes a club head, a shaft, and a connection assembly. The club head includes a hosel having an upper treaded portion and a lower portion with a faceted cross-section. The connection assembly includes a sleeve mounted on the tip end of the shaft and a screw-cap. The sleeve, which has an aperture for receiving the tip end of the shaft, includes a lower section that has a multi-faceted surface for engaging the lower portion of the hosel. The screw-cap is mounted over the sleeve and includes a body having an upper area and a threaded area, the latter of which is capable of engaging the upper threaded portion of the hosel to removably secure the shaft to the club head. ...


USPTO Applicaton #: #20110034266 - Class: 473307 (USPTO) - 02/10/11 - Class 473 
Games Using Tangible Projectile > Golf >Club Or Club Support >Head And Shaft Connection >Detachable And Reattachable

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20110034266, Golf club with removable components.

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CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is a continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/208,137, filed on Sep. 10, 2008, which claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/972,132, filed on Sep. 13, 2007, now abandoned, both of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a golf club having an improved connection for interchanging components.

2. Description of the Related Art

In order to improve their game, golfers often customize their equipment to fit their particular swing. Golf equipment manufacturers have responded by increasing the variety of clubs available to golfers. For example, a particular model of a driver-type golf club may be offered in several different loft angles and lie angles to suit a particular golfer\'s needs. In addition, golfers can choose shafts, whether metal or graphite, and adjust the length of the shaft to suit their swing. Golf clubs that allow shaft and club head components to be easily interchanged facilitate this customization process.

One example is Wheeler, U.S. Pat. No. 3,524,646 for a Golf Club Assembly. The Wheeler patent discloses a putter having a grip and a putter head, both of which are detachable from a shaft. Fastening members, provided on the upper and lower ends of the shaft, have internal threads, which engage the external threads provided on both the lower end of the grip and the upper end of the putter head shank to secure these components to the shaft. The lower portion of the shaft further includes a flange, which contacts the upper end of the putter head shank, when the putter head is coupled to the shaft.

Another example is Walker, U.S. Pat. No. 5,433,442 for Golf Clubs with Quick Release Heads. The Walker patent discloses a golf club in which the club head is secured to the shaft by a coupling rod and a quick release pin. The upper end of the coupling rod has external threads that and engage the internal threads formed in the lower portion of the shaft. The lower end of the coupling rod, which is inserted into the hosel of the club head, has diametric apertures that align with diametric apertures in the hosel to receive the quick release pin.

Still another example is Roark, U.S. Pat. No. 6,547,673 for an Interchangeable Golf Club Head and Adjustable Handle System. The Roark patent discloses a golf club with a quick release for detaching a club head from a shaft. The quick release is a two-piece connector including a lower connector, which is secured in the hosel of the club head, and an upper connector, which is secured in the lower portion of the shaft. The upper connector has a pin and a ball catch that protrude radially outward from the lower end of the upper connector. The upper end of the lower connector has a slot formed therein for receiving the upper connector pin, and a separate hole for receiving the ball catch. When the shaft is coupled to the club head, the lower connector hole retains the ball catch to secure the shaft to the club head.

Two further examples are published applications to Burrows, U.S. Pub. Nos. 2004/0018886 and 2004/0018887, both of which are for a Temporary Golf Club Shaft-Component Connection. The Burrows applications disclose a temporary connection that includes an adapter insert, a socket member, and a mechanical fastener. The adapter insert, which is mounted on a shaft, includes a thrust flange. The socket member, which is mounted on the other golf club component (e.g., a club head), includes a thrust seat for seated reception of the thrust flange. The mechanical fastener (e.g., a compression nut or a lock bolt) removably interconnects the adapter insert and the socket member.

The prior art temporary head-shaft connections have several disadvantages. These connections typically add excessive weight to the club head, which affects the playability characteristics of the golf club. A change in the overall weight of a golf club alters the center of gravity and moments of inertias of the club head. Thus, a golf club with a shaft permanently affixed to a club head would have inherently different characteristics than a trial golf club that uses a prior art temporary connection to combine the same shaft and club head. In addition, many of these prior art connections are cumbersome to use. Some designs require the connection device to be accessed from the bottom of the club head, others from the top, with different tools and procedures for each.

BRIEF

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an improved club head-shaft connection that couples golf club heads and shafts in a manner that does not adversely affect the playability of the resulting golf club. The hosel of the club head is itself provided with a threaded portion and a rotation prevention portion. Therefore, fewer components are required for assembly, which reduces the overall weight of the connection and enables more discretionary weight to be distributed elsewhere in the club head.

In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, a golf club having removable components includes a club head, a shaft, and a connection assembly. The club head includes a body having a hosel. The hosel includes an upper treaded portion and a lower portion. The upper threaded portion of the hosel has a plurality of threads, which provide the upper threaded portion with a threaded cross-section. The lower portion of the hosel has a multi-faceted cross-section. The shaft has a tip end and a butt end. The connection assembly includes a sleeve mounted on the tip end of the shaft and a screw-cap. The sleeve has a body that includes a top section and a lower section. The lower section has a multi-faceted surface for engaging the lower portion of the hosel. The sleeve further includes an aperture for receiving the tip end of the shaft. The screw-cap has a body with a central aperture. The screw cap is mounted over the sleeve. The screw-cap body has an upper area and a threaded area, the latter of which capable of engaging the upper threaded portion of the hosel of the club head for removably securing the shaft to the club head.

In accordance with another embodiment of the invention, a golf club has a club head that includes a face cup and an aft-body. The face cup comprised of a metal material and including a striking face and a hosel. The hosel having an upper threaded portion and a lower portion. The upper threaded portion of the hosel has a plurality of threads thereon. The lower portion has a tapered, faceted cross-section. The golf club further includes a connection assembly comprising a sleeve and a screw-cap. The sleeve, which is mounted on the tip end of a shaft, includes a body having a top section and a lower section. The lower section of the sleeve has a tapered, multi-faceted surface for engaging the lower portion of the hosel. The sleeve further includes an aperture for receiving the tip end of the shaft. The screw-cap includes a body with a central aperture, the screw cap mounted over the sleeve, the body of the screw-cap having an upper area and a threaded area, the threaded area capable of engaging the upper threaded portion of the hosel of the club head for removably securing the shaft to the club head.

In a preferred embodiment, the lower section of the sleeve has three faceted surfaces. Once fully inserted into the hosel, the three sides of the sleeve will make contact with three mating surfaces designed in the lower portion of the hosel. Three sides are preferred to stop rotation both axially and around a pivot axis that is created when fewer than three contact points are achieved. When the screw-cap is tightened down on the sleeve, the screw-cap forces the multi-faceted lower section of the sleeve against the mating contact surfaces of the lower portion of the hosel of the golf club head, and all rotation is mechanically prohibited. This is superior to spline contact between the splines of a sleeve and those of a golf club head hosel, because there exists a small amount of axial slippage distance between the two splined surfaces. In addition, not having to machine the splines into the golf club head hosel provides cost savings.

Having briefly described the present invention, the above and further objects, features and advantages thereof will be recognized by those skilled in the pertinent art from the following detailed description of the invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front plan view of a golf club in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded top perspective view of the golf club of FIG. 1 illustrating the various components, including a face cup portion of a club head, a shaft, and the connection assembly, which includes a sleeve and a screw-cap.

FIG. 3 is perspective view of the golf club of FIG. 2 in an assembled state.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a golf club shaft attached via the connection assembly to a hosel of a club head.

FIG. 6A is a top plan view of a face cup of a club head.

FIG. 6B is a cross-sectional view taken generally along the line A-A of FIG. 6A.

FIG. 6C is a cross-sectional view taken generally along the line B-B of FIG. 6B.

FIG. 6D is an enlarged sectional view taken along circle C of FIG. 6B.

FIGS. 6E-6H are enlarged sectional views showing greater details of an upper threaded portion of the hosel.

FIG. 7A is a plan view of a sleeve.

FIG. 7B is a cross-sectional view taken generally along the line A-A of FIG. 7A.

FIG. 7C is an enlarged sectional view taken generally along rectangle B of FIG. 7B.

FIG. 7D is an enlarged sectional view taken generally along circle C of FIG. 7B.

FIG. 7E is an enlarged view taken generally along circle G of FIG. 7A.

FIG. 7F is a cross-sectional view taken generally along the line H-H of FIG. 7A.

FIG. 8A is a plan view of a screw-cap.

FIG. 8B is a top plan view of the screw-cap of FIG. 8A.

FIG. 8C is a cross-sectional view taken generally along the line A-A of FIG. 8B.

FIG. 9A is a plan view of a locking ring, which may be used in the connection assembly.

FIG. 9B is a cross-sectional view taken generally long the line A-A of FIG. 9A.

FIG. 10A is a perspective view of a ferrule, which may be used in the connection assembly.

FIG. 10B is a cross sectional view taken generally along the line A-A of FIG. 10A.

FIG. 11A is a plan view of a screw-cap with a polymeric patch.

FIG. 11B is a plan view of a screw-cap with a polymeric strip.

FIG. 11C is a plan view of a screw-cap with a polymeric pellet.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF THE INVENTION

As shown in FIGS. 1-5, a golf club is generally designated 20. Golf club 20 has a club head 22 and a shaft 24 that is coupled to club head 22. Club head 22 is preferably a wood-type golf club head, such as a driver, a fairway wood, or even a hybrid iron-wood-type club, but may also be an iron-type club head. Club head 22 includes a body 26 having a striking face 28, a crown portion 30, a sole portion 32, a heel end 34 and a toe end 36. Striking face 28 generally extends along the front of club head 22 from heel end 34 to toe end 36.

Body 26 is preferably composed of a metallic material, such as titanium, titanium alloy, stainless steel, or the like. Alternatively, body 26 may be composed of multiple materials, such as a metal face cup 27 attached to an aft-body composed of a different material, such as a carbon composite material, or a stainless steel body with a carbon composite crown. Body 26 preferably has a hollow interior and includes a hosel 38 for receiving shaft 24. Where body 26 is comprised of a cup face 27 and an aft-body, hosel 38 is provided in cup face 27. Hosel 38 is preferably an internal hosel that extends into body 26 with an opening 40 in crown portion 30. Alternatively, club head 22 may be provided with an external hosel (not shown) rather than an internal one.



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Previous Patent Application:
Golf club head or other ball striking device having one or more face channels
Next Patent Application:
Combination putter and chipper golf club
Industry Class:
Games using tangible projectile
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20110034266 A1
Publish Date
02/10/2011
Document #
12909734
File Date
10/21/2010
USPTO Class
473307
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
63B53/02
Drawings
10



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